Malik (6/7/04)

Microsoft has announced some news that can be quite saddening to fans of RPGs and those 500,000 XBox owners in Japan.  Personally, I think MMORPGs are just not fun enough to make up for the non-MMO RPGs.  But then I like to have story over an over glorified chat room with a clunky combat engine and no purpose in playing beyond hanging with some virtual friends.  Anyway, as you can tell, I've never had much of a reason to play MMORPGs, so I am definitely a bit biased.  Anyway, if one comes out that can capture my attention with a plot that makes up for a slow combat system and the usual lag prone servers, then I may convert...but until that day, don't count on it.

Well, if you checked out this post earlier, you'd notice I split it into two.  I ended up gorging myself at the trough of freedom know as Todai.  I always feel bad when I don't eat at least twice my money's worth at an all-you-can-eat place.  Sadly, tonight it leads to me feeling like I'm gonna puke...but in a good kind of way.  Anyway, I'll keep the rest of this short since I need one hell of a siesta.

Anyway, I've gotten in a lot more La Pucelle Tactics this weekend.  Way too much, in fact.  I blasted through about 4.5 chapters in a single play session.  I love the game, but I have to say that when a game crashes at a place like LPT crashed on Sunday, it does leave a bad taste in one's mouth.  LPT crashed right before I had a chance to save after starting chapter 11.  For those who haven't played this far, I'll just say one spoiler-free thing; you play through a huge story dialogue thingy, 3 battles (with a unique requirement that makes the maps a little longer), another giant story thingy (this one being about 10 minutes), then a chapter ending screen, and another moderate chunk of story.  All in all, this takes about an hour if your playing to meet the good ending requirement (which is that special requirement for the three battles).  Well, LPT crashed right before I could save at the end of all that.  I do definitely now miss the option to save after a chapter that is found in Disgaea.  I had to waste an extra hour of all that shit.  BLAH!  At least the story is more than making up for that time waste.  Sadly, I'm now on the last chapter, so I need to find another game.

Well, my bursting stomach is telling me to take a nap, and the fact that one of my neighbor's smoke detectors is not going off (like it did for the last 48 hours; which led to no sleep for Malik since Friday night) means it is time to snooze.  Later.


Malik (6/8/04)

Some news today, and for once, it's all good; for me at least...not often I can say that.

It begins with my fight with the incompetence of Brinkster.  Not only have they finally closed down my account, they even refunded my money.  I will not condone or condemn their service, but I will say that I was definitely pleased with their lack of effort.  Supposedly, they have faced an "un-normal" (their word...their made-up word...from a professional email...) amount of emails lately, which has caused them some delay in getting anything accomplished.  Personally, I take this as a sign that, for the time being, they are not ready to be taking on such a large volume of business.  Perhaps they should rethink some things before this gets even more out of hand.  On that note, I will say that if anyone is interesting in starting a not-free web site, don't look to Brinkster until some time has passed and they can have a chance to become far more organized.  Anyway, the point of this; I GOT MY MONEY BACK!!!...and it only took them 9 days and three requests (plus one additional email to the VP of operations) to do it after my initial request...damn, that was lame.

On some more good news, I finally passed through the wonderful game of La Pucelle Tactics.  Sadly, it means that I'm done with this scale of strategic RPG until Phantom Brave comes out this fall.  On the bright side, that was one hell of a sweet game.  A word of warning, however, needs to be said; before you start the final dungeon, make sure you have a lot of time to play.  A LOT OF TIME.  After you reach the final point to save, you face more than a few boss fights, and a large dungeon style environment (as in you walk around through the normal battle style maps as you try to navigate through a maze and find the final section of the game...this means going through about 5 or more battle maps...ones you can't win by killing all the enemies).  Also, like with almost all good RPGs, the ending sucks arse.  I mean it does wrap up everything, for the most part, but it still feels short and like the details have been omitted (for those who've seen Harry Potter 3; it's like the main plot of that movie...devoid of the details that matter...I never read the book, but even I could tell some important details were left out...which Velveeta confirmed since she's read all those damned things).

Now I'm left with a problem; what long lasting game can fill the void of LPT until a Tales of Symphonia comes out?  I think I may end up just hitting some of the classics for the time being; maybe another run through Metroid Prime until I can think of something more RPG-ish.

Also, to wrap up this news filled day;  Take Two Interactive is going to be delaying some titles in the near future.

Last of all, I was able to have the opportunity today that comes along only once in a long time.  I gave my supervisor, who hates me for no reason and treats me like shit, a reason to be such a bitch to me.  At the same time, it isn't something that can get me in trouble at work.  Since it's hard to be treated worse than shit, and previously she had no reason to bitch me around, I feel damned good.  Booyah!


Malik (6/9/04)

Why is it that if you wear headphones while walking through a major metropolitan area more people try to talk to you?  Every day as I walk to and from work, I deal with two miles of people asking me random-ass questions and making really lame requests while those around me without headphones are ignored.  Maybe people, most of them at least, are deep down a bunch of freakin' idiots/asses.

Anyway, today I was reading a bit about the new project from Nintendo, and I don't mean the DS.  I'm talking "Revolution" here.  Apparently Nintendo has some ideas to reclaim their position as king of video games.  Anyway, click the link and you'll see the vague details (sadly Nintendo is keeping quiet on the finer points since they don't want to be outdone...this better be good, because they are the ones who need to be out-doing others; not fearing being outdone).

I'm still in a quest of sorts to find a good long lasting game to play while waiting for Tales of Symphonia.  I'm not too sure of what to play since it seems that I've done everything worth doing, game-wise.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll check out the new Thief game.  It sounds interesting, but some of the changes from the previous Thief titles alarm me a little bit.  Especially the loss of rope arrows and having free reign to buy as many healing potions as you can ever desire.  The healing thing turns into an issue of making the game too easy, and while I like to keep things hard, I can't turn down an exploit like that.  So, in the end, it may not be the game for me...but hopefully I can find a way to try it out before I impulse buy, like I usually do.  I hate impulse buys...they usually bite you in the ass about 48 hours later, and since EB doesn't let you return opened functional games anymore, this can really bite me in the ass.  At least my record with impulse buys has been pretty good lately...DISGAEA!!!

For the time being, I'm playing through Metroid Prime again, but I don't know how long this tetri-clone can play out on my sense of entertainment.  What do I mean tetri-clone, you ask?  Simple to answer.  When each boss requires 90% strategy and 10% skills, it is no longer an action title as it should be.  Like the flower-boss that you simply have to flip the solar panels and then bomb a total of four times.  Is that an action fight ala Metroid, Super Metroid, or Metroid 2?  No it is not.  Then the whole weapons issue of needing the right colored weapon for the right enemy is really lame when you consider that in the older Metroids (I still hold Super Metroid to be king) any weapon would work on almost any enemy (with a few special metroids), but the later weapons worked better.  None of the shit where a red guy can only be hurt by the uber-plasma shot (which isn't too stupid), but a yellow guy can only be hurt by the hella-weak beam cannon.  That last part is bullshit.  It turns the good old action/adventure game into a bit of a puzzle game...and that shouldn't be in the Metroid world.  So, as you can tell, I doubt Metroid Prime will hold me for too long.

If you thought any of that stuff was me being an ass with the spoilers, you can suck it.  Those were not spoilers...real spoilers would involve something that doesn't fall into game play mechanics or the fourth (maybe it's the fifth) boss out of a couple dozen.  I hate people who whine about "spoilers" when there aren't any.


Malik (6/10/04)

Well, I had a feeling after posting last night that an impulse buy was in my near future...that feeling came true only an hour after my post.  I went out with Velveeta to look for a new addiction, and I think I might have found it in Thief: Deadly Shadows for the XBox.  It was an impulse, and I haven't played the game yet (too much crap to do last night to get any gaming in...that sucked), but I'm probably not going to be disappointed since Thief has not let me down yet.  Anyway, if it's good or bad, you'll all know soon enough via a review (after I get in some good play time, that is).

For some more geek-universal news, it looks like the Phantasy Star series is not done yet.  Sega has a new game in the works, but the details seem a little too sketchy to me...I mean, it's safe to assume it will be an RPG, but Sega won't even say what type of RPG.  I guess this is another time that time will tell.

I'm still trying to keep up playing Metroid Tetris...I mean Prime...even while I get started with Thief.  For some reason, despite how crappy Metroid Prime is in concept, I can't stop playing.  It's probably because I have too strong of a nostalgic sense tied with this series...if only I hadn't lost my Super Metroid, I could get my fix from a better source of Metroidness.  I just finished fighting the plant boss that guards the varia suit, swearing the whole time; not because it's hard, but because this fight, like most boss fights in Prime, makes no freakin' sense.  If I could stun the boss with a few charge shots, then why do I have to kill it in a puzzle solving fashion?  I mean, not to be too geeky, but in Star Trek VI a phaser at point blank set on stun could kill, and in Battle Royale we learned how to kill with a tazer (press it against the chest around the heart), so why can I not kill a big flower with a dozen freakin' missiles?!  Dude, if I shot a missile at a flower in any other game, that flower would be toast after the first shot, and if it was a boss, maybe a dozen.  IT'S A FLOWER!!!  There is no logic behind the boss fights in, I'm not even going to think about the rock monster in the snow field...Metroid, to be blunt, is an action/adventure game, not a puzzle game.  I complain, but I can't help going back for more...sigh...I have no will power.


Malik (6/11/04)

I cannot tell you how glad I am that this week is finally over.  It has been one hell of a busy work week for me, and if I had to go to work one more day without a break (which almost happened), I was ready for a coronary.

At least I have had some time to play Thief: Deadly Shadows for the XBox, and I have been quite far.  The story is pretty lame (I'm only at the third mission, however, so I have hope that it will get better), but the game play is sweet.  My only issue is that the 3rd person camera is one of the worst cameras I've seen in a game yet.  It makes me think of a slightly more refined version of the Hitman 2 (XBox) camera...which was the worst shit I've ever tried to play through thanks to the camera.  Luckily, the first person perspective more than makes up for that.  Also, this has to be some of the best use of sound I've seen in a game for quite some time.  Overall, the one aspect I'm happiest about is that as a fan of covert-action games (like Splinter Cell) who has ADD, I normally can't play through a stealth game (I have a compulsion to kill without tact after the first hour of playing...which doesn't work in Splinter Cell), but at least Thief gives enough room to let one kill without a director shouting into your ear how you've messed up and the mission is over.  In other words, it's like a more refined (once again) version of the game play of Hitman, but since your target is to get money, and not be a silent assassin or whatever, it doesn't affect your game too badly to shoot first and clean up blood later...that's cool...shooting a dude in the head with an arrow for a quick kill and then having to worry about both hiding a body and cleaning up the blood.  Oh, Thief, how I've missed you.

Anyway, I am tired, both physically and mentally, so I'm rambling and a little less than articulate, so I'll just leave you with this new issue of Malik's Bitchings, and I'm off to go medieval on some nobles...Thief style.